Growing up and well into my early adult life, I never truly accepted my weight. In fact, weight acceptance wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I would always have a magic number in my head. I would kill myself trying to get to that number thinking it would solve all of my problems.
The number on the scale started to become an obsession. It soon started to foster an unhealthy and toxic relationship with my body.
Instead of enjoying my life and eating a healthy diet, I started cutting my calories (down to 300 a day at one point) and would get extreme anxiety if the scale increased 0.1 pound.
Of course this isn’t normal. Admittedly, I went to an uncommon extreme. However, this pattern is sadly common in females around the world.
We have been taught to fixate about the number on the scale so much that we get anxious or let down when that number isn’t ideal.
So why should you take a break from the scale? Not only does it change the way you feel about yourself, it increases weight acceptance, fosters a healthy lifestyle, and increases self esteem. If you’re a little skeptical, read on for more reasons why this is a good choice.
1. Your weight fluctuates like crazy
You’re setting yourself up for nothing but anxiety and disappointment if you focus on a magic number. The fact is that your body’s weight fluctuates a lot based on multiple factors. Just to name a few: your sodium intake, amount of waste in your body (i.e not pooping for a hot minute), what you wear while you weigh yourself, and the time of day you step on the scale all contribute to what that number will be.
2. The Scale doesn’t Tell the Whole Story of Who You Are.
First off, you are so much more than a number. You are a whole person with passions, dreams, fears, and goals in life. You are beautiful and when you focus all of your energy on a number, it takes away from the light you carry.
The scale also does a horrible job at telling you what your fitness or health status actually is. It can’t tell the difference between fat, muscle, and bone density.
For example, weight training increases bone density and muscle mass. So if you start a new workout program that has resistance or weight training, don’t be surprised if the scale tells you that you’ve gained weight even if your pant size went down.
Muscle is more dense than fat and takes up less space. This is why someone with more muscle and less fat often look smaller than someone that weighs the same amount but has more fat and less muscle.
3. Weighing Yourself all the Time has Psychological Consequences and Decreases your Body Postivity
Being hung up on the scale’s number has the ability to lead to changes within your daily life. For instance, it can lead to a change in eating patterns, increase calorie restriction, lower self-esteem, negative body image, and the inability to understand your body’s internal cues (i.e when it’s trying to tell you if it’s hungry or full.)
How it Feels to Ditch the Scale and Find Weight Acceptance
When I made the personal decision to put my scale away, my habit of weighing myself all the time was difficult to fight at first. However, within the first few weeks I started to notice how much better I felt both physically and mentally.
I had more energy, felt healthier, and was able to get through my workouts with more ease. It was almost as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders: I had finally found what weight acceptance looks like for me.
I began to listen to my body and trust that it knew what it was doing. I would eat healthy meals when I was hungry and I drank much more water because I didn’t have the fear of gaining weight stopping me. Giving up weighing myself also led me understand how to live a balanced life. Because of this, I ended up dropped a whole dress size.
While those physical differences are great, the psychological differences are what blew me away. My self-esteem, confidence, and body positivity went through the roof.
I didn’t start my day off with stepping on the scale and filling my head with negative self-talk. I was able to focus on how positively healthy and happy I felt.
Self-Care is also an important aspect to leading a healthy lifestyle. Check out this article to help you get started on the right foot.
Side Note: Keeping an eye on your weight every once in a while is a good way to understand where you are and if you need to change something about your lifestyle. You should check with a doctor and think about getting a professional body fat and muscle analysis in order to understand your health in a better way.